North Adams exists as a hub of activity, and commonly is called a “drive-through town.” Even the trains are driving from one place to another, trying to get to somewhere else, never stopping for long.
Much of North Adams is historic, run down, falling apart or somehow being “reclaimed by nature” if you prefer to romanticise it in that way. Old Victorians, falling apart, or apartment buildings marked with signs that say it is no longer safe to enter. One can walk into any old house and see dandelions peeking through the floorboards. Or walk through the various historic sites, of the Hoosac Tunnel, perhaps, and see pieces of the past, where nature exists within history.
Like the beavers who live alongside the West Portal, creating shapes, changing the landscape, and adding to it as parts break, we as humans do the same thing.
The history of the Hoosac Tunnel is rich with individual narratives, horrible deaths, and more, which enable the stories of the tunnel to be all the more interesting. With the wide range of stories, there enables a wide range of materials to show them, including TimelineJS, Storymap, of course visual aspects such as video, and the more straightforward nature writing.
The Vault will play into our writings as well. The archives we have access to, mostly documents which have been scanned and posted online, will aid us in our research. Physical artifacts will help us as well, and the aid of the local historical society will be of great use to us.
Our schedule is very loose, as we may change dates as time goes on, including adding more due dates as they come. For now the schedule is as follows:
February 22 : Compiling a list of names of dead
February 22 – 25: Figuring out what materials we need
February 26 – March 2 : Visiting the Library and the Vault. Seeing the artifacts
March 3 : Visiting the Historical Society (10am to 4pm)
March 4: Visit the East Portal, nature writing on site, some B-roll footage if possible.
We have also designated some responsibilities for the two of us.
Cassie: TimeLineJS, StoryMap, maintaining the blog/ writing pieces, research/ visiting the site. Positive affirmation guide / spotter of beavers.
Erica: filming and editing videos, maintaining the blog/ writing pieces, research/ visiting the site. Driver / navigator extraordinaire.
The Hoosac Tunnel, although well known, has much that is no longer understood. In seeking the truths that the tunnel will tell, we may be able to see more than what even the builders themselves fully intended to show.